Okay, imagine this.... Country-blues singer/guitarist Erin Harpe moves from D.C. to Boston, where her Memphis Minnie influences get mixed up with some electro-booty-shakin' attitude. Add in the solid bass of Jim Countryman, tasty drums and eerie vocal harmonies of Bob Nisi, and the electrified sounds of longtime Boston harp dog Richard "Rosy" Rosenblatt, and what do you get? That's Charles River Delta Blues.... y'all. With her new band Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers, Erin and the gang give the music a new twist to create a genre they call “Charles River Delta Blues”, which combines delta soul and spirit with Boston's rich blues heritage, while bringing it to the 21st century. Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers have already been receiving accolades, including, 2010 and 2011 Boston Music Award nominations for Blues Artist of the Year, winning the 2010 Boston Blues Challenge, being semi-finalists at the 2011 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, as well as having the honor of opening for blues legends Honeyboy Edwards and James Cotton. The Delta Swingers are now working hard on their debut album, which will be out in later this year.
Erin has been hailed as "an authentic blues chanteuse", earning a reputation for her raw style and "total, selfless and compelling immersion in the music" and accomplished finger-picking guitar playing. Like her predecessors Memphis Minnie and Charley Patton, Erin has a wide appreciation of many styles of music, and ventures fearlessly outside the blues to lead her "Other Band", the electro-funk dance band Lovewhip. Erin has even been known to slip a Lovewhip song into her blues sets, and the dancers don't seem to mind a bit.
Erin grew up around Washington, DC, the daughter of popular area bluesman Neil Harpe, who was her first teacher. As a teenager she began performing as a solo artist at folk festivals, coffee houses, bars and parties, where she honed her sparse renditions of vintage blues songs. Since moving to Boston in the late '90's, she has performed at venues such as the original House of Blues, the Middle East and Harpers Ferry, and done far-flung festival dates in New York State and Austin, Texas. Erin has released two acoustic blues albums, her debut Blues Roots (2002) and 2008's Delta Blues Duets, which have received rave reviews and airplay across the United States, as well as at least six European countries and Japan.